If you were taking on Deadpool at the box-office, you should have come wearing brown pants. The latest superhero movie from the X-Men franchise has blown away all sorts of estimates and expectations. It has destroyed every sensible calculation done by any studio, even the movie’s own distributors Fox. Made on a modest production budget of $58 million (by superhero standards), Deadpool opened with a phenomenal $135 million in North America! Yes, you read that right. What a Valentine’s Day gift for Ryan Reynolds! This is way bigger than the opening seen by X-Men Origins: Wolverine ($85 million) when Reynolds had played this character for the first time, not to the liking of too many people. This is in fact bigger than the opening of any other X-Men movie ever, surpassing the $102.7 million domestic opening of 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past. And just to point out a small fact, Bryan Singer’s flick was made on a production budget of $200 million, more than three times the budget of Deadpool. When it comes to R-rated movies, Deadpool has set a new record with this opening, getting the better of the $91.7 million opening set by The Matrix Reloaded in 2003. As far as February is concerned, the biggest opening had been set last year, on the Valentine weekend itself, by Fifty Shades of Grey ($85.1 million). That record too has been dismantled. Deadpool has had a strong overseas opening as well, earning almost as much as it did in North America. It will miss out on the Chinese market where the censor board has found it too hot to handle, but already the movie has earned $260 million worldwide. Deadpool will easily cross the $500 million mark, but how further it can go will be fun to watch. Can it touch $748 million worldwide to become bigger than X-Men: Days of Future Past? Woah, that would be something! Get the cameras rolling for the sequel folks!
In all this excitement surrounding Deadpool, two other wide releases have almost become a footnote. The romantic comedy movie by Warner Bros., How to be Single, earned $18.8 million over the weekend in North America and $26.9 million worldwide. It definitely took a hit by releasing along side Deadpool, but then who knew the latter would become such a huge thing. How to be Single was made on a production budget of $38 million, and so would need to earn more than $100 million worldwide to break-even which does look doubtful at the moment. A little behind is the Ben Stiller directed Zoolander 2, the sequel to the 2001 comedy movie. It opened with $15.7 million which is quite poor for a $50 million budget film. The opening is only marginally better than what 2001’s Zoolander had achieved, but the budget of that film had been almost half of the sequel. Zoolander 2 has collected $24.2 million worldwide, and will need to do a lot more in the overseas market to make money for the studio. I really can’t see that happening.
Finishing in second spot on the domestic box-office charts is Kung Fu Panda 3 that dropped by only 7.5% in its third weekend. The movie has earned $94 million in the domestic market, but Kung Fu Panda 2 had earned $127 million in the same period back in 2011. Worldwide, Kung Fu Panda 3 has collected $256 million and still has a lot of places to open in. While the movie will be termed a financial success, the question is whether it will be able to match its predecessors, and that is becoming difficult to gauge as of now. The Revenant is still seeing a lot of attention as the Oscars are inching closer, and hardly saw any drop over the weekend (less than 1%!). The movie has grossed $361 million worldwide till date. Last weekend’s releases did fairly well – The Choice dropped by only 13% – but the openings had been so disappointing to begin with that they aren’t worth talking about any more. And for the first time in nine weeks, Star Wars: The Force Awakens does not feature in the top five movies in North America. Amen to the Force!
Here are the top 5 weekend earners at the US box-office (estimates):
1. Deadpool ($135.1 million)
2. Kung Fu Panda 3 ($19.7 million; third weekend)
3. How to be Single ($18.8 million)
4. Zoolander 2 ($15.7 million))
5. The Revenant ($6.9 million; eighth weekend)